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Harvard Business Review

Harvard Business Review March/April 2020

For over 80 years, Harvard Business Review magazine has been an indispensable and unrivaled source of ideas, insight, and inspiration for business leaders worldwide. Each issue contains breakthrough ideas on strategy, leadership, innovation and management. Now, newly redesigned, HBR presents these ideas in a smart new design with improved navigation and rich infographics. Become a more effective leader by subscribing to Harvard Business Review.

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United States
Harvard Business School Publishing
6 Issues

in this issue

1 min
gender expression and employment law

Laws regarding gender and gender expression are constantly evolving and differ according to location. In the United States no federal law prohibits discrimination against trans people, and only 19 states have explicit protections for trans workers. Additionally, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 makes it more difficult for trans employees to file discrimination complaints against employers who justify their practices on religious grounds. Using religious freedom as a rationale, certain states have enacted laws to revoke or prohibit equal protections for trans individuals. Although gender expression has been covered in some court cases under the broader sex-discrimination protections within Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, in the absence of a federal law it remains up to the courts to decide case outcomes according to their interpretations of prior…

1 min
about the research

We focused our study on three “exemplary” multinational corporations that met five selection criteria: (1) They were included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. (2) They were members of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and the United Nations Global Compact. (3) They had been involved in industrywide supply-chain sustainability efforts. (4) They were certified as having a large percentage of plants with effective quality-management systems (ISO 9001), environmental management systems (ISO 14001), and safety-management systems (OHSAS 18001). (5) They were members of the Billion Dollar Roundtable (firms spending at least $1 billion with minority- and women-owned suppliers). We also interviewed representatives of industry associations (including the Responsible Business Alliance and the Automotive Industry Action Group) and NGOs (including the CDP and the Centre for Reflection and Action on Labour Rights) to…

12 min
managing yourself firing with compassion

IN EARLY 2007, after nearly a decade of growth, JetBlue was struggling. A Valentine’s Day ice storm at New York’s Kennedy International Airport had stranded hundreds of passengers on the tarmac for hours and revealed glaring weaknesses in JetBlue’s operating systems. After much deliberation, the board concluded that JetBlue’s brilliant founder and largest shareholder, David Neeleman, was no longer right to lead the company. We needed a new CEO. As lead director at the time, I would be the one to deliver the news to David. With another director, I went to his office and told him, clearly and directly, that we’d decided to replace him and briefly explained why. To soften the blow, we asked him to stay on as chairman of the board. David was upset. He said we…

5 min
should sonia accept the offer from lfm capital or stick with her vision for inganci?

ACHA LEKE is the chair of McKinsey & Company’s Africa practice and a coauthor of Africa’s Business Revolution. Although I admire and respect Sonia’s entrepreneurial ambitions, I would urge her to seriously consider the offer from LFM. Sonia needs to do some deep thinking about why she wanted to start Inganci Tumatir. Is her dream to start and run her own business? To help smallholders? To transform agriculture in Nigeria? A job at LFM could pave the way for her to achieve all those things. As someone still early in her career, Sonia could benefit from the training and development she’d get in a large, established company like LFM. She would not only learn effective investment, problem-solving, people management, and business-building processes but also gain exposure to a variety of industries and countries…

3 min
“people want to know where their money is going”

What makes for a good match between charity and retailer? There are two ways to look at it. If the cause and the retailer are a natural fit—if they operate in the same sphere—the consumer doesn’t have to wonder why the retailer is backing that particular cause. But on the flip side, you could say to a supermarket, for example, that if everyone else is supporting food-related nonprofits, maybe there’s an opportunity for you to sponsor something different and cut through the clutter in the marketplace. It has to be something the retailer cares about, and it should be something its customers have some passion or affinity for. How can retailers demonstrate that they care about the cause? Make sure your outreach to consumers is across-the-board, and make it part of…

14 min
how insider ceos succeed

AUTHORS CEO, WittKieffer Professor, IMD When an organization taps one of its current executives to be its new CEO, the transition might seem straightforward. The promotion is often the culmination of years—maybe decades—of hard work. CEOs who come from inside the company have probably served in the C-suite or run a large division before, so they have relationships with everyone in top management and the confidence of the board. They know the organization, its history, and its culture. They understand its strategy and might have been intimately involved in developing it. They’ve established credibility and support. You’d think, then, that they’d have an easier time adjusting to and excelling in the job than external hires would. In reality, chief executives who have advanced from within face hurdles that are comparable in magnitude, albeit different in…